Marilyn Marie Zinnel


Marilyn Zinnel, 88, died peacefully on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at Friendship Manor in Shakopee, MN, where she resided since June, 2019. Marilyn was born on February 10, 1932, in rural Hadley, Minnesota to Herbert and Marie Quaintance Johnson. As a little girl, she attended a one-room schoolhouse outside rural Slayton through elementary and finished the remaining secondary school years at Slayton Public School graduating in 1950. She was united in marriage to Delbert L. Zinnel on August 4, 1950. They were married for 39 years where they lived on a farm outside of Hadley and raised six children until Delbert’s death in 1989. She then moved into Slayton in 1996. She worked at the ASCS office and then for 35+ years at Slayton Drug until she retired. Marilyn had many interests, talents, and accomplishments. She was a piano teacher, organist and music director at Hadley Lutheran for 40 years, a seamstress, loved crafts, stamping and card making, Bingo, playing cards, Scrabble, but her best known talent was her flair for cake baking and cake decorating. She was known far and wide as the “Cake Lady.” She was active in 4-H in her earlier years, the Brookside Circle, Birthday Club, Hadley Lutheran Ladies Aid, VFW Ladies Auxiliary 6322, and the Hadley Golden Club. In 2004-2005, she received the Buzz Erlandson Community Service Award in recognition of her years of community service and leadership and was the 2004-2005 recipient of the Friend of Education Award for the Murray County Schools where she volunteered countless hours. Marilyn was a avid sports enthusiast and she enjoyed cheering on the Murray County Central sports teams, the Minnesota Twins, and the Hadley Buttermakers. Her greatest joy, however, was spending family time with her children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren. She delighted in their activities, accomplishments, milestones, visits, hugs, and just being near them. She had a picture blanket displayed on her wall with all her family, which she looked at each day for hours. It gave her a sense of pride and admiration.

Marilyn is survived by her six children: Deborah (David) Biren of Rochester, MN, Michael Zinnel of Avoca, MN, Melanie Zinnel of Shakopee, MN, Mark Zinnel of Pipestone, MN, Doreen (Bob) Veenhuis of Slayton, MN, and Marcia (Michael) Geraets of Monticello, MN; 9 grandchildren, Sean Biren, Nathaniel (Jennifer) Zinnel, Matthew (Alicia) Biren, Brianne (Brady) Hedstrom, Danielle (Jarod) Murray, Taylor (Samantha) Zinnel, Jamie Geraets, Joshua (Amanda) Onken, Jordan Geraets; 7 great-grandchildren; Serenity Biren, Annika Zinnel, Alaire Biren, Jaelynn Murray, Leo Zinnel, Witten Murray, and Briar Hedstrom. She is also survived by her aunt, Lois Oldewurtel, special family members, Deb Elliott, Dave Onken, and Cathy VandeBraak, and her many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Delbert.

Funeral services will be at the  Hadley Lutheran Church in Hadley, MN on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. with Bob Ossefoort officiating. Interment is at Highland Home Cemetery in Hadley, MN. Following the interment the family is gathering at the Hadley Park for food and Fellowship. Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton is entrusted with arrangements. To send condolences visit

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